Looking for the best cheap cameras for photography? Budget shopping can be a pain if you don’t know what to look for.
The best budget cameras will offer a range of options for the photographer, from manual control to high-end zoom functionality.
They’ll also be able to capture images in various lighting situations, making them perfect for an amateur, hobbyist, or professional photographer.
This article will compare and review the best budget cameras on the market today.
We’ll also look at some of the pros and cons of each model to give you an accurate picture of what is out there.
Our Top 5 Best Cheap Cameras for Photography
- Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera (Our Top Pick)
- Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera (Best Budget)
- Nikon COOLPIX W100 (Best Bang for the Buck)
- Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43-RD 16MP Digital Camera
- Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera
What Are the Best Cheap Cameras for Photography?
The best cheap cameras for photography vary from model to model.
However, they’re all good options for amateur and professional photographers alike, giving you quality images and performance at an affordable price.
Many of the cameras on this list are interchangeable lens models or “systems,” meaning the lens can be swapped out for another depending on your needs.
This can mean getting a high-quality zoom lens that offers a range of versatility or just making sure you have additional lenses if you’re shooting action.
Additionally, most of these camera models are often built with an emphasis on image quality.
This means the best cheap cameras will be able to capture high-quality photos at all times, regardless of weather or lighting—the quality you rarely get at low prices.
Overall, finding a camera that can deliver consistently great images is crucial if you want to spend a little extra time out in the field capturing all your memories.
What Are the Different Types of Cheap Cameras for Photography?
A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera. This means the photos are captured using a separate lens that slides over the camera’s main lens, leaving you with a more traditional feel.
Other cheap photography cameras are closer to the traditional point-and-shoot style, but DSLRs have generally been at the top of the price range for many budget cameras.
Compact cameras have been around for a long time, and they’re still used by photographers today.
They tend to be much smaller than other types of cameras, and they are typically designed to fit in your pocket.
These models tend to use small lenses that don’t require a very large depth of field so that you won’t get the same level of detail as with longer focal-length lenses.
They are also more likely to have settings that are difficult to change.
A bridge camera is a combination of a DSLR and a compact camera.
They have different bodies to fit the photos taken with either type of camera, and they have more powerful zoom lenses than compact cameras.
Mirrorless cameras are fairly recent, but they have been gaining in popularity over the past few years.
Mirrorless models look similar to traditional digital cameras but can capture images with smaller and lighter lenses than compact cameras or DSLRs.
These cameras have a lot of the same functionality as DSLRs, but they use different types of lenses that are smaller and more lightweight.
A rangefinder camera is the oldest type of cheap camera for photography on this list, and it takes photos using an optical viewfinder.
These models are very small and compact, making them perfect for traveling or taking vacations.
However, these cameras usually aren’t very high-tech since they have been around much longer than camera models.
Point & Shoot Camera
Point-and-shoot cameras are typically the cheapest type of camera you can find, which makes them great for beginners or people who want something compact for a vacation.
These models are lighter than other cameras, making them more portable and easier to use.
They’re also compatible with various manufacturers’ types of lenses and accessories.
Do Cheap Cameras Work?
Cheap cameras do work, which is why they’re one of the most popular products on the market.
These cameras are often considered “budget cameras” because they’re made to be sold at lower prices to people who are interested in photography but don’t have a lot of money to spend on their hobby.
However, that doesn’t mean they lack in quality or power—some of the best cheap cameras for photography can compete with other models that cost far more than their price tag would suggest.
These cameras are great for photography novices as well as professional photographers who just want a more affordable option.
What Do You Look For in the Best Cheap Cameras for Photography?
1. Key Features
The best cheap cameras for photography have a lot of the same features as other great models, but they also have some key differences that make them even more appealing.
Here are some of the most important aspects to look for when choosing a cheap camera:
Many budget cameras don’t include any image stabilization, which makes it difficult to take photos in low-light conditions.
Image stabilization can help you capture clearer images that aren’t blurred by shaky hands.
This can be accomplished using a longer focal length lens or shooting in burst mode.
Shooting in burst mode is also a great way to capture clear photos for cheap cameras since it lets you take multiple shots with one click.
This is helpful for many reasons, from capturing the perfect moment to getting multiple photos of a subject that may move out of the frame.
Shutter lag is the delay between when you press the shutter button and when the photo is actually taken.
Shutter lag can help take photos of fast-moving subjects, but it can also be a problem for photographers trying to capture action shots.
This delay also affects the shutter speed, which will cause blurriness and blurriness on moving objects.
2. LED Screen
There are many cheap cameras for photography that only have an LCD screen, which can become difficult to look at in the sunlight.
This can also make it difficult to focus, affecting the quality of any photos you take.
LED screens are ideal because they use less power than other screens and can be very easy to read. They also display more information at a time.
Your camera coverage can also significantly affect how well you can focus on moving photos and subjects.
Zoom lenses with longer focal lengths allow you to capture more detail in your photos than cameras with wide-angle lenses.
4. Image Quality
The image quality is an important aspect to consider when looking at cheap cameras for photography.
Since these cameras are sold at lower prices, they tend to be less effective than other models.
However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have good quality settings.
5. Shockproof and Waterproof Levels
Cameras can be a lot more durable than smartphones or other electronic devices.
However, theft is always a risk when you leave your camera somewhere that’s not protected from the elements.
Many cameras consider how likely someone would try to steal them by checking the shock and waterproof rating levels.
6. Zoom Lens
Zoom lenses aren’t always necessary for a cheap camera, but they can help you take better photos if you’re trying to capture videos or images from a distance.
A zoom lens for your camera can also help you capture more detail in your photos, making them much clearer and more appealing.
7. Low Light Capability
The low light capability of your camera is extremely important for any photographer.
Low light can make capturing some of your photos more difficult, so you’ll want a camera that has an effective anti-shake function.
This will help you get high-quality images in darker conditions by decreasing the blur from shaky hands.
8. Auto Focus
Autofocus has become a standard feature for almost all cameras, but it’s especially helpful for cheaper models.
This feature is partly responsible for controlling the camera’s shutter speed and coverage, so if your camera doesn’t have autofocus, you won’t be able to get better-quality photos.
The type of lenses you use on your camera can also make a big difference in the quality of the photos that you take. When choosing your cheap photography camera, ensure you get a lens that suits your needs.
10. Storage Capability
Since cheap cameras for photography often come in smaller sizes, they’re often limited by how much storage they have.
While this is still an issue with most of the cheaper models, some have a greater capacity than others.
If you think you need more storage, then make sure you choose a camera with a larger storage option.
The Best Cheap Cameras for Photography Reviewed
1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera – Our Top Pick
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a mirrorless camera using some of the latest innovations in camera technology and is the best cheap camera out there today. It’s constructed with a durable metal chassis, allowing it to stand up to the rigors of travel photography.
The E-M10 Mark II comes equipped with an extensive array of manual shooting modes and RAW format capability, giving you total control over your photos.
- Great range of manual shooting controls
- Light but durable build
- Wide zoom capability
- No swivel touchscreen
- Requires specific lenses to access some features
2. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera – Best Budget
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera offers everything you need to shoot stunning, professional-quality photographs and videos.
Its 20.1-megapixel sensor and powerful lens offer lightning-fast auto-focus results without relying on a separate AF system.
This camera can be considered perfect for beginners and professionals looking for high-resolution, quality images.
- Detailed and clear images
- Great build quality
- Excellent zoom range
- A little heavy
3. Nikon COOLPIX W100 – Best High End
The Coolpix W100 is a super-compact camera that is simple to operate and perfect for the beginning photographer.
It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it comes with everything you need for basic photography: autofocus, auto exposure, and face recognition.
Because it is small and easy to operate, this would be a good camera choice for a child or beginner.
This camera offers brilliant quality for its price and is a good choice for beginning photographers.
- Small and compact
- Excellent image quality for the price
- No Wi-Fi or GPS functionality
- Not waterproof, weatherproof, or shockproof
When it comes to cheap cameras, Kodak is one of the best brands for amateurs and hobbyists. The Friendly Zoom FZ43-RD offers high-quality photos at a very affordable price.
It has a 16 MP sensor with 4X optical zoom functionality and an automatic flash.
The camera has a built-in 2.7″ LCD screen that isn’t touch-enabled, but it’s still easy to navigate through the camera’s different modes and settings.
It’s hard to find a way to improve upon an already great camera.
However, the Kodak PIXPRO line offers a lot of customization and the ability to add a ton of features with an optional grip.
- Great image quality
- Inexpensive accessories
- Easy to navigate
- Limited zoom functionality
The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera is a newer model than the other cameras on this list, having been released in June 2018.
This camera sits at the midpoint between smartphone photography and traditional film cameras. It offers a high-quality zoom lens, allowing for a 2.4 times magnification of distant subjects.
It also has a high-quality automatic flash that automatically adjusts to indoor or outdoor lighting situations.
The Instax Wide 300 uses Instax Wide film, in contrast to the smaller Instax Mini film that other models on this list used.
This film is excellent for capturing vacation photos or special events and enlarging them at some point later in life.
- High zoom capability
- Low price
- Easy to use
- Smaller film
- Harder to find accessories
Final Thoughts On Best Cheap Cameras for Photography
All of these cheap cameras are fantastic for photographers who are serious about photography or just love to take photos as a hobby.
It’s important to find a camera that fits your personal needs, but all of them will be able to take high-quality photos under various lighting situations. Investing in one of these cameras will be money well spent in the long run.